Kharon Davis has spent nearly 10 years in jail. He's had four sets of attorneys, with two judges on the bench. His co-defendants' cases have wrapped up. But Davis has had no trial. There's been no jury, no verdict, no conviction. Police say Davis, then 22, shot 29-year-old Pete Reaves inside his apartment on June 9, 2007. Davis and two friends had gone to the apartment complex to buy marijuana from someone else, prosecutors say in court records. But that person wasn't home, so the group went into Reaves' apartment, with an open door, and tried to rob him of money and drugs—that's when Davis shot him, the records say. He's charged with capital murder and could face the death penalty. Trial dates have come and gone, and it's now scheduled for September. By then, 10 years and three months will have passed since the crime.
The Constitution guarantees suspects "the right to a speedy trial." Capital cases often take a year or longer to get to trial, but 10 years is rare—experts call it shocking and say it could be unconstitutional. Davis and his friends, Kevin McCloud and Lorenzo Stacey, were all charged with capital murder. Stacey went to trial in 2009 and was acquitted; his lawyer suggested Davis pulled the trigger while Stacey was outside, according to local media reports at the time. Two years later, McCloud pleaded guilty to a lesser murder charge, avoiding the death penalty and receiving a 99-year prison sentence. That leaves Davis. He's held without bond—typical in capital cases. As Davis waits, so does the family of Pete Reaves. The AP has much more, including an explanation of why Davis has gone through so many lawyers.